Preschool (Page 3)

Happy Earth Day–April 22

Today is Earth Day.   Let’s celebrate together by appreciating and taking care of the Earth.   Here are some ideas of activities to do with you child to celebrate.

  1. Spend time outdoors
  2. Plant something
  3. Pick up trash
  4. Recycle–paper, plastic, cardboard
  5. Create Art from Recycled Material
  6. Use refillable water bottles
  7. Pray:  Thank you,God, for creating the Earth!
  8. (Click here for an Earth Coloring Sheet)

Happy Earth Day!


Letter S Fun!

At Wee Disciples we learn about a new letter each week. Before “Sheltering at Home” we had made it to the letter R. This week and next we will have activities each day to focus on the letters of the alphabet we did not yet cover.

Let’s learn about the Letter S today.
1. What does the letter S look like? Show your child the uppercase and lowercase S. Talk about the differences and similarities.
2. What sound does S make? I like to sing a song with the students:
S says /s/ ssssss.
S says /s/ ssssss.
Every letter makes a sound.
S says /s/ sssss.
3. Show your child objects that start with the letter s….snail, shoe, ship, sheep, etc. Can your child think of other words/objects that start with S?
4. Color the S objects on a S coloring page or challenge your child to draw a picture of something that starts with S.
5. Search for items around your house that begin with S.
6. Play a game where everyone takes a turn stating a new S word/object. The game is over when someone repeats an S word/object already stated.
7. Practice tracing and writing the letter S s.
Extension activities….
Practice writing words that start with S.
Make a S Book…each page is an object that starts with S.
Read a book about something that starts with S like a snake book or sheep book.
Try to find the letter s in the newspaper, a magazine, a book or while you are on a walk…I Spy the letter S
Have fun with the letter S today!

Science Fun–Grow a Bean

Grow a Bean Experiment
What you will need:   a lima, kidney or navy bean (or any bean seed from a seed packet), a quart sized ziplock bag, cotton balls or paper towels, water, window, tape
1.  Soak the bean of your choice in water overnight to stimulate the growing process.
        a.  Pull open one of the soaked seeds to see the inside of the seed.   Below is a picture of the parts of a seed.
2.  Dip a few cotton balls or a paper towel in water and place it in the ziplock bag.
3.  Drop 2-3 soaked beans into the bag on top of the soaked cotton balls/paper towel.
4.  Seal the bag.
5.  Hang the bag with tape in a sunny window.
6.  Observe each day to see if the beans are growing.
7.  Keep track of when you started the experiment and when the bean starts to sprout roots and leaves.   How long does it take?
8.  When the bean plant has roots, stem and leaves, try replanting the bean sprout in soil.
Inline image
Have fun with Science…growing a bean!

Science Fun with Motion

Today, lets explore motion with our preschoolers.   Motion is the movement from one place to another.  Force is what causes an object to move.   Force can push or pull an object in a certain direction.  Force can cause on object to change directions and move faster.
Getting started:
Take a piece of wood, wooden block, or piece of cardboard and create a ramp by placing one end on blocks, books, or another object and the other end on the floor.   
1.  Gather a small selection of items to see if they roll down the ramp or do not roll down the ramp.   example:  a block does not roll down the ramp…a matchbox car does roll.   
2.  Try rolling balls or cars of different sizes down the ramp.   Which rolled faster…bigger balls or smaller balls?   
3.  Place tape, foam, a placemat, material, or bubble wrap, etc on the ramp …does this slow the roll of objects down the ramp or speed the object up.   
4.  Try making the ramp different angles…for example try 3 blocks and then 6 blocks.   Does the ramp height cause the objects to go slower or faster? 
6.  Make more than one ramp and try to race objects down the ramps.   
7.  What happens if you push an object down the ramp instead of letting it roll on its own?
8.  If your child is having lots of fun with the ramp, try using a paper towel tube or wrapping paper tube with a marble at different heights and make observations.   
Have fun with Science!    

Science Fun–Rubber Egg & Candy Experiments

With all our Easter Fun over the past weekend, try an egg and candy experiment today.

You will need 1 raw egg, some vinegar and a jar.

  1. Place an egg in a jar and cover it with vinegar. (Add color to the vinegar for colored rubber eggs too)
  2. Wait 24 hours, then drain and refill the jar with vinegar.  Set aside and wait for 7 days. Notice the bubbles on the eggshell?   This is the acid in the vinegar reacting to the calcium carbonate in the egg shell.   This reaction produces a gas called Carbon Dioxide.
  3. After 7 days, remove the egg and rinse it off.   You may need to remove a brown layer of scum from the egg.   It will easily wash away.   The Hard outer shell is gone and the egg white and yolk are surrounded by a thin membrane.
  4. Observe the egg:   What does it feel like?   What does it smell like?   What does it look like?                                                         (Be careful because the egg can still break open)
  5. Take a flash light and shine it thru the egg…can you see the egg yolk?
  6. How high will the egg bounce?     Try dropping the egg from various heights.
  7. After you are all done with your observations, try breaking the egg to see what is inside?
Another fun experiment to try after Easter is a Skittles Candy Experiment.
You will need a white plate or bowl, some Skittles, and water
    1.  Arrange the Skittles on your plate/bowl in a pattern placed in a circle on the outer edge of the plate/bowl.
    2.  Gently begin pouring water in the center of the plate/bowl until the water reaches the Skittles and barely covers them.
    3.  Observe what happens to the Skittles over time.  Give your child a chance to see, smell and listen to what is happening. Talk about what is happening.
    4.  Have your child color a picture of the plate/bowl with Skittles to record the results.
    5.  To further the fun try different types of candy like M & M’s or jelly beans.   Try using cold and warm water.  Try using different liquids.

Have fun with Science!

Science-Sink or Float

Today try a sink or float experiment with your preschooler to teach him/her about density, buoyancy, observation and prediction.    
You will need:
-a plastic tub, container, or bowl (even the kitchen sink or bathtub could be used). 
-Items such as small toys, blocks and small household items. (Suggest items of various materials…wood, metal, plastic, etc.)
-Sink or Float Experiment Sheet
1.  Fill the container with water.   (Adding food coloring to the water or a little Kool-Aid mix to color the water for added fun.)
2.  Talk with your child about the meaning of sink and float.    Sink means the object moves to the bottom of the water container.   Float means that the object stays on the surface of the water.   (If an object is very dense it will sink to the bottom of the container….if an object is byoyant it will float at the surface of the water)
3.  Have your child choose an item for the experiement and ask them to predict if the item will sink or float.   Record the prediction on the Sink or Float experiment sheet attached below.    
4.  Then place the item in the container/water and see if his/her prediction is correct.    Record your observations on the experiment sheet.  
As an extension to this activity try finding a video or article on the computer about Why objects float? or Why objects sink?   
Give your child a straw to blow the objects around in the water.   
Have your child try to make a “boat” to hold items that sink or use a small boat that your have.   How many objects does it take to sink the boat?     
Have fun with science!

Science Fun-Germ Experiment

I came across an activity that a nurse demonstrated at Wee Disciples in the past that helped students understand germs and the importance of washing hands.   I believe that in our current situation, this little experiment would be beneficial and interesting for our children.
Germ Experiment
1.  You need a bowl, water, pepper, dish soap, Germ Experiment sheet (Click here), pencil.
2.  Fill the bowl with water. Sprinkle pepper on the water while explaining to your child about how tiny dirt/germs/bacteria/viruses are and how they get on surfaces all around us…via touch, sneezes, coughs, wind, etc.   Explain how the pepper in the water looks like germs on surfaces around us, but pepper is a lot bigger in size than a germ.  Germs/bacteria/viruses are so small we can not see them with our eyes we need a microscope to see them.
3.  Have your child draw a picture of what the water with “germs” looks like right now.  Use the Germ Experiment sheet.
4.  Dip your child’s finger in the dish soap and then encourage them to touch the water with the soapy finger and observe what happens to the pepper.
5.  Talk about what happened to the pepper when your soapy finger touches the water.    The pepper “germs” go away from the soap.
6.  Have your child draw a picture of what the pepper water looks like after you touch it with a soapy finger using the Germ Experiment Sheet.
7.  Explain that Germs/bacteria/Viruses do not like soap or hand sanitizer.   Just like the pepper moves away from the soap…when we wash our hands we get rid of the germs/bacteria/Viruses on our hands.
8.  Also talk to your child about correct hand washing technique…use soap and water…rubbing every part of the hands(between fingers, top and bottom, under nails)…for 20 seconds or longer to rid your hands of the germs.   Encourage your child to wash their hands scrubbing/rubbing soap while counting to 20 or singing the ABC song.   This is how long you should take to wash your hands.
9.  Further the experiment:  Try the experiment again using a different object other than your finger like a soapy tooth pick, soapy fork, etc.   Does it work the same way?  Leave the pepper water in the bowl…does it change in appearance after a period of time?   Does the pepper stay in a ring?
Have fun with Science!

Creating Mini Books

I want to finish the week of pre-reading activities with a mini-book project suggestion.   I like to challenge preschoolers to create books of their own.   Creating books with your child encourages pre-reading skills, imagination, as well as, writing and fine motor development.
How to get started:
1.  Prepare some blank books for your child.   You can use copy paper, construction paper, index cards, or any paper that you have.  Take a few sheets of paper and staple the sheets together or use a hole punch and yarn/string to tie the paper together to make a book.  I recommend making several books of different sizes to have available for your child.   You can leave the paper in full sheets, or fold the paper to make smaller books. You can even make the book different shapes like a circle shaped book or apple shaped book or flower shaped book.
2.  Help your child come up with a topic to write about.
3.  Make a title for the book and write it on the front of the book.  This is an opportunity to have your child copy the words on the front of the book or you can write the title for them.
4.  Do not forget to put your child’s name as the author of the book…by Karen  (encourage your child to write his/her name)
5.  Work with your child to draw pictures and write on each page of the book.
6.  When the book is finished read the book together.
7.  Encourage your child to “read” his/her book to others.
Giving your child a few books that you have created for them, may help him/her come up with other ideas for books.   Here are some suggestions to get started:
1.  Create a number book
    a. Title: Egg Hunt
        pages: I went on an Egg Hunt and I saw 1 blue egg,  I saw 2 red eggs, I saw 3 _____ eggs, etc.
    b.  Title:  It is spring
         pages:  It is spring, I see 1 tree., It is spring, I see 2 bunnies., It is spring, I see 3 birds., It is spring, I see               4______.,etc.
    c.  Title:  My Family
         pages:  I have ____ boys in my family.   I have _____ girls in my family.  I have ____pets in my family.
2.  Create a color book
    a.  Title:  Red
         pages:  A stop sign is Red.   An Apple is Red.    A______ is red.
    b.  Title:  Easter Eggs
         pages:  Easter Eggs can be red.   Easter Eggs can be blue.   Easter Eggs can be rainbow….
    c.  Title:  Hair
         pages:  I have blonde hair.  My dad has____hair.   My sister has_____hair.
    d.  Title:  My Cars
         pages:  My toy car is red.   My toy car is blue.   My toy car is yellow and black.
3. More book ideas:
    a.  ABC books:  Apple starts with A, Bear starts with B, etc.
    b.  Rhyming books:  What rhymes with Cat?   Mat rhymes with cat.  Hat rhymes with cat.   etc.
    c.  All about your favorite animal or pet…Pengiuns eat____, Penguins live in_____ ,Pengiuns like to ______,               etc.
    d.  Jesus loves ..Jesus loves John. Jesus loves Mommy.  Jesus loves_____.  etc.
    e.  Books about your child’s favorite toy, interest, TV show, Movie, activities, etc.
I hope you have fun creating books with your child.

Learning Sight Words

Sight words are words that occur frequently in text and are most often used in reading and writing.   Sight words are sometimes called core words, high-frequency words, or popcorn words.    Sight words are used so often it is important that readers be able to recognize these words on sight (hence the term “sight words”).   Working hard to learn these words by sight (memorizing) pays off. It allows kids to free up cognitive resources so they can focus on the tougher words when reading.   Edward Dolch created a list of these high-frequency words in the 1930’s.   This list is still used today and gives us a place to start. ***It is very important that your child is able to recognize and name lower-case and upper-case letters prior to learning sight words.  Having a foundation in letter recognition makes teaching sight words easier and more meaningful.*** 
The first 40 Dolch Sight Words are:
a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you
 To teach your child sight words try these strategies:
1.  Teach 1-3 words at a time.
2.  Use a variety of techniques.
    a.  Create sight word cards (one word written on an index card) or print sight word cards off using your computer.
    b.  Show the sight word card to the child, tell them the word, and have them repeat the word to you.
    c.  Have your child trace over the word written on a paper with his/her finger or marker.
    d.  Have your child copy the word from a model.
    e.  Post the word (Post-it notes work well for this) so the word can be seen and reviewed daily.
    f.   Ask your child to point to the card that you name.
3.  Once your child masters recognizing the word, gradually add more words to your list.
4.  Remember to review words already learned frequently to ensure mastery.
Once your child has learned some sight words
1.  Point out the words you are working on in print while you are reading or anywhere you see the word(signs, packages, etc).
2.  Stop and pause during reading so your child can say the sight word.
3.  Let your child read all the sight words they know while reading a favorite story.
4.  Find some easy-reader books that focus on sight words to give your child practice using the sight words they have learned.   I really like the Now I am Reading: Pre-Reader Series that you can find on Amazon.   BOB Books are also popular for beginning reading.
Have fun challenging your child using sight words!

Learning Letters

Most children between 3-5 years old are starting to recognized letters.   Recognizing letters involves knowing the name of the letter and also learning the sound of that letter.   In my experience children find it easier to learn uppercase/capital/big letters first.   Uppercase letters have more straight lines and are more distinguishable from one another.  They also represent the majority of the letters in print in the environment (on street signs, grocery stores, etc.)   There are many theories on which letters to work on first like M,S,F,A,P,T,C,I…. I have found that most children start learning the letters of their name first because it is very important and meaningful to them.
Here are some ideas/activities to try to encourage letter recognition at home:
1.  Post the letters of the alphabet in your child’s room or somewhere in your house. This will help to draw their interest/attention to the letters. The letters in alphabetic order are displayed in the preschool classroom at all times.
2.  Singing the Alphabet song is the beginning step in the recognition of letters.   Teach your child this song, and he/she will memorize it.   To start letter recognition, you can sing the song with your child and point to the letters of the alphabet as you sing them.   This begins to focus your child on the visual letter.
3.  When you are at home or out, constantly point out letters.   Talk with your child about the name of the letter, the sound(s) the letter makes, and make association of the letter to another letter.  For example you see an EXIT sign.   You can say, “That is the EXIT sign.  EXIT starts with the letter E.   Your name, Elliot, starts with an E also.  Can you think of anything that also starts with E?   egg, Easter, Ed, elbow.”
4.  Teach the letters of your child’s name.   Write the name.  Post the name in your child’s room.   Sing a song using to teach the letters of the child’s name…I make up a song like…”My name is Ben…B-E-N spells Ben..Ben is the best name!”   Ask your child to find his/her name.   Ask your child to spell his/her name.
5.  Try providing activities to encourage kids to form the letters (get a feel for the letter) such as:
        -Make letters out of playdough–print out a letter and have child form the letter with playdough on top of the paper
        -Cut letters out of sandpaper or fabric and create “Feely Alphabet Cards”
        -Read Alphabet books with feely letters
        -use toys and objects to create letters such as blocks, legos, sticks, pretzels, cotton balls, stickers
        -Place Magnetic letters on the refrigerator or a magnetic board for your child to play with
        -Give your child a letter puzzle to complete
        -Paint and trace letters on paper whenever possible
6.  Create activities to identify letters like:
        -Alphabet Slot Game–make letter cards(or put the letters on disks, game pieces, caps, lids) and let them place the letter cards in a slot in a box or container. Encourage them to                          name the letter as they put the card in the slot
        -Alphabet Search–This sensory game involves filling a plastic tub with rice, beans, water (any sensory material) and place plastic or foam letters in the tub.   Let the child explore and                  find the letters.  Name the letters as they find them.  Other interesting things can be added to the sensory tub and the child can sort  Letter/Not a letter.
        -Create or purchase Alphabet Cards…match magnetic or foam letters to the cards, Find letters in your child name from a group of cards, sort cards into groups…letters with straight                   line or letters with curved lines, etc.  Use letter cards to put letters in order of the alphabet.
        -Create an Alphabet Memory Game…take turns finding 2 matching letters
        -Put letter stickers or labels on toys(matchbox car) or blocks(or use alphabet blocks if you have them).  Use these toys/blocks to recognize letters.
            “Give me the M car?”
            “Lets park the Alphabet cars in order from A-Z.”
            “Lets make your name with our Alphabet cars”
        -For an Easter activity…take plastic Easter Eggs, write one letter of the alphabet on each egg.   Hide the eggs and have your child have an egg hunt.   When they find an egg, ask them to           name the letter.   For a challenge ask them to find eggs with letters in his/her name.
Have fun learning letters with your child!